During the COVID-19 pandemic, we know that many employees have faced the challenge of balancing caregiving and homeschooling responsibilities while also working from home. Families have either been very close together or very far apart, sharing space or only accessible to one another using tech tools. This unique experience has impacted family life, family dynamics, relationships, practices, patterns and overall family well-being. We are all learning from this collective experience together and are committed to supporting employees during this difficult time.
Supporting Your Children
Be a mindful family. Find a way to help everyone take a moment to slow down, stay present and come together, like family yoga or a quiet walk in the woods. In fact, exposure to nature has been proven to be a key factor in maintaining good physical, social and mental health. The calming effects of the natural environment are particularly beneficial for easing stress, anxiety and symptoms of depression – benefits for the whole family!
The Child Mind Institute has an abundance of resources to help parents with topics such as remote learning, discipline, signs of depression, screen time, teaching social skills at home and so much more. They offer these top tips for supporting your kids during the pandemic:
Activities for Children and Families
Upcoming Free Virtual Family Life Wellness Sessions for McMaster Faculty and Staff
Communication in Family Life
Monday, June 22 | 11 a.m. – 12 noon
The challenges and uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic can be overwhelming and can put a strain on family relationships. This session describes some fundamental aspects of communication that apply to interactions within families. Participants will review communication strategies and skills that allow for healthy and open dialogue to enhance the quality of their relationships during these challenging times.
Royal Botanical Gardens Fieldtrip: Healing Plants
Tuesday, June 23 | 3 p.m. – 4 p.m.
Join the Royal Botanical Gardens (RBG) on a digital fieldtrip as you discover how plants have been used in both traditional and western medicines and healing. Plants form the main ingredients of medicines in traditional healing and have been the source of inspiration for several major pharmaceutical drugs. We’ll explore how these plants are predominately used in traditional remedies, food, personal care and perfumery. We’ll also look at the impact on biodiversity and sustainability of these plants.
We’re all in this together! A Q&A Session with a Parenting Coach
Wednesday, June 24 | 11 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.
From working with kids at home to challenges with homeschooling, this interactive Q&A session with Michael Larson (Parent Coach, Life Upgrade) will help parents understand how to best engage and support their children while also taking care of themselves. Michael’s session will focus on the most pressing questions submitted in advance, and will also answer participant questions during the session.
Live Q&A: Family Friendly Gardening Advice from RBG
Thursday, June 25 | 11 a.m. – 12 noon
Novice green thumbs, seasoned horticulturalists, and every ‘blade of grass’ in-between are invited to submit questions ahead of time and receive expert, family friendly, video-based gardening advice. Submit your questions in advance or bring some with you to ask an expert on all things that grow!
Learn more about these and other upcoming sessions and register on our HR Events page.
Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) – Homewood Health: If your stress is overwhelming, please reach out to your health care provider, or Homewood Health for support. Homewood Health continues to offer its telephonic counselling services. 1.800.663.1142
Organizational Development, Human Resources Services
905-525-9140 ext. 24556